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Built by U.S. Navy: Fiji cyclones damage 19 schools

Staff Writer |
Fiji's acting prime minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the recent spate of cyclones in Fiji has destroyed or damaged 19 schools.

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He said nine schools in the west were affected by either landslides or floods, and ten in the east were affected structurally, Radio NZ reported.

The opposition pointed out in parliament that St John's College on the eastern island of Ovalau had been rebuilt after Cyclone Winston two years ago, yet had sustained more damage.

They asked for assurances that schools would be structurally safe when they were rebuilt.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the college was rebuilt by the U.S. Navy in the flurry of aid offers after Winston.

"Obviously at that time a lot of people wanted to come and contribute and perhaps at that time we should have gone and said to the U.S. Navy, this is the structure and these are the standards we need to adhere to but we did not do that," he said.

"I suppose there was an assumption that if the U.S. Navy's building it, it would be OK and that's something, a lesson to learn from that."

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